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Rugby Town

Hinckley Leicester Road
Earls 16'
Langham 34'
Jenno 64'

Caine Elliott - Rugby Town 0-3 Hinckley Leicester Road - January 2022
Midfielder Caine Elliott and his team-mates were well beaten on the day against leaders Hinckley at Butlin Road

Saturday 8 January 2022

United Counties League Premier Division South
Butlin Road, Rugby
Attendance 280
Valley Star Man

League leaders Hinckley Leicester Road inflicted a first defeat for Rugby in over two months with a dominant victory at Butlin Road.

Valley struggled to find their rhythm against a side who have only dropped two points in the UCL all season, and goals from Callum Earls, Matt Langham and Danny Jenno ultimately gained Hinckley revenge for their defeat at the same venue in the Vase back in November.

The hosts' starting line-up showed three changes from that at Coventry Sphinx five days earlier, with Keenah Rosser and Edwin Ahenkorah coming in to a makeshift back-four and Justin Marsden also on from the off.

The game's first chance fell to Marsden just beyond the ten minute mark, but he could only lift Ahenkorah's whipped cross to the near post over the target from a few yards out.

Hinckley were soon showing how they have put together such an excellent run of results though, and they took the lead when Earls smashed home after Jenno had flicked on Dom Brennan's corner from the left.

The visitors nearly doubled their advantage in quick fashion when Tom Smith capitalised on a Rugby error, but his low shot was well-kept out by the legs of Town keeper Ash Bodycote.

Valley continued to struggle to find a foothold on proceedings and were too often guilty of surrendering possession cheaply, although a David Kolodynski low driven cross did call Will Highland into action with Danico Johnson ready to pounce on any mishandling from the keeper.

However Hinckley continued to look a threat at the other end, with Ben Humphreys dragging one wide, before Town conceded again when Langham followed up on his initial header which had rebounded back off the post to ease the ball over the line.

Rugby's best opportunity of the game came in the lead-up to the interval, when Highland needed to be at full stretch to tip Kolodynski's header to a Caine Elliott cross away for a corner.

Hinckley looked to extend their advantage after the break though, with Loyiso Recci doing well to clear a goalbound effort from Smith, with Bodycote then denying the same player when he was quickly off his line to beat away the winger's shot.

A dangerous surge into the box from Danico Johnson almost paid dividends for Rugby but his final ball was smothered out by the well-organised Leicester Road back-line, but it was always the visitors that looked the more likely to score again.

The third goal did come on 64 minutes from another Brennan corner, with skipper Jenno adding to his strike in the reverse fixture earlier in the season with a close range finish.

Town's play lacked any real cohesion thereafter, and Hinckley could have easily added to their tally in the remaining minutes.

Smith's set-piece dangerous delivery was palmed away from his goal-line by Bodycote and then Smith nearly helped home a long range effort by Earls in the closing stages, with Danico Johnson missing out on a late chance of a consolation when his shot was blocked.

Valley Line-up: Bodycote; Summerfield, Ahenkorah, Loyiso Recci, Rosser; Fitzharris, Elliott, Max Johnson (Shaw); Marsden (Parker), Danico Johnson, Kolodynski. Subs not used: Semahimbo, Clarke, Josh Thomas. Booked: Parker.

Hinckley line-up: Highland, Acton, Earls, Humphreys, Jenno, Astill, Read, Burrows, Langham, Brennan, Smith. Subs: Harrison, Brown, Alcott, Lyne, Munton.

Valley Line-up - Rugby Town x Hinckley Leicester Road - January 2022
Photos: Martin Pulley
x - Rugby Town x Hinckley Leicester Road - January 2022
Forward Edwin Ahenkorah played at left back in a makeshift back-line for Rugby against unbeaten leaders Hinckley

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